The theme song of today’s post is The Logical Song by Supertramp. This may come as a shock to some/none of you, but I am a big fan of logic. We’re talking Scott Hamilton commentary “huge” fan. I mentioned before that I’ve always resisted the urge to ask why my medical life has played out the way it has. It always seemed like a question with no answer, right up there with, “how does Katarina walk on sunshine without burning her feet?” and, ”why is Blue Bunny hoarding the best chipwiches?” I love logic for a very simple reason: there has been no logical explanation for why so many things have happened to me medically (both good and bad) that I grasp at logical explanations for everything else.
But then recently I learned about this gene mutation that predisposes one to developing cancer. NIH has a brief and surprisingly understandable explanation, if you’re interested. When I was a kid and the relationship between this gene, P53, and cancer was first being explored, I generously, graciously, and unknowingly donated a vial of blood for a blind study. In fairness to the researchers, my parents knew. What we never knew, however, were the results – it being a blind study, and all. However, my very first oncologist and my new oncologist both firmly believed all evidence pointed to my P53 gene having mutated.
A P53 gene mutation would explain SO MUCH. There would be a logical explanation. It would still suck, but there would be an explanation. So we sent another vial of blood of for testing and waited, irritated at the insurance company for requiring some much yelling to pre-authorize the genetic testing. Fortunately the genetic counselor took care of the yelling. The news came rather like a bomb from the oncologist this week – “So isn’t it crazy about your genetic testing results and the P53 gene? That took all of us by surprise!” Mom and I looked at each other with no idea what she was talking about. The genetic counselor had not been in touch with the results or even to schedule an appointment to discuss the results. Suddenly looking sheepish for straying out of her lane, she said, “Oh, the genetic counselor called me last week while I was at the conference to tell me your results were negative for a P53 gene mutation.. hasn’t she been in touch with you?”
First of all, no, she had not at that time been in touch with me. Secondly, excuse me, but WTF, universe? Are you serious?? COME ON!!! I even had a blog post sketched out to share the Scott Hamilton-huge news that my life had at long last been explained. It was to be called, “Get It Together, P53,” and the theme song was to be something from the B52s in a shout out to one of you brilliant and dyslexic friends. I don’t know if I’m more upset that my creative process was thwarted or that the logical explanation was snatched away just as I was adjusting to having a likely explanation. As one of you said, I’m just a special snowflake. I am unique. Just like everyone else.
I later got an email from the genetic counselor telling me she was looking into whether other research laboratories may have an interest in my case. Really? OK, they can have at it, but at their own expense. From my brief scan of the report, it appeared that nothing out of the ordinary was identified. She also said she’ll schedule an appointment with me in a few weeks to go over it.
Additional medical happenings in the next few weeks: medi-port placement (central, indwelling IV line), follow up CT checking on the status of the pneumonia recovery, follow up with the infectious disease doctor to receive the results of said CT, pre-chemo hair appointment with my fab, new girl at the salon for a surprise (whaaaaaaaaaaaat?), and then if all goes according to schedule, chemo itself will begin on Thursday, January 14, 2016. It is all outpatient, and the oncologist claimed it would be nothing compared to most of my past chemo experiences. I’ll be the judge of that. I got out of attending the “mandatory” intro to chemo class thanks to my patented you-have-got-to-be-kidding-me death stare. I was not able to convince the oncologist or the nursing supervisor that I should be allowed to drive myself to and from treatments – yet.
I’ll leave you today with this picture of Polly, which visually sums up so much.